Toko Shinoda: Captivating Artist

art of Toko Shinoda, Japanese abstract, calligraphy,

She wields her brush like a magic blade….. it seems to me.

How is it possible that the Japanese artist Toko Shinoda can communicate so much, with such deft minimalism? Such complete mastery of white space!

Toko Shinoda, Japanese wabi sabi,
Toko Shinoda, brushstroke mastery


Toko Shinoda – Artist’s Early Life

Shinoda was born 1913 in China, to Japanese parents. The family later returned to Japan where Toko Shinoda pursued her love of Waka poetry and the art of calligraphy.   Both her father and uncle were involved with the arts, dabbling in calligraphy and sumi ink painting.


Tokyo’s  love of poetry is clear, as evidenced in the titles of her art works. Such as,  “Serenity, Beyond, Eternity, Echo, Faded Memories, Cadenza, For Thee.”  All have the lyrical  flow of the poet.




Toko Shinoda Quote


Toko Shinoda is quoted as saying,


“Certain forms float up in my mind’s eye.

Aromas, a blowing breeze,

a rain drenched gust of wind,

the air in motion,

my heart in motion.

I try to capture these vague,

evanescent images of the instant

and put them into vivid form.”





Captivation by Air  and Earth

What I find so captivating and compelling about Shinoda’s  art is her exquisitely balanced ratio of air and earth elements in her art works.


Let me explain.

The quality I define as ‘air’  is the sense of  Freedom I feel from her work.

That feeling of space, and soaring,  and ‘an uplifting quality.’


The Freedom and space,  ‘air’  however is perfectly balanced by strength.

By sheer power.

The absolute Certainty,  the Resolve in each brush stroke is amazing.

I’m sure you can feel it too!



These 2 things:   Freedom  and Certainty,     ring with truth and resonate within my own artist  spirit.

Captivating me.



art of Toko Shinoda, Japanese abstract, calligraphy,
Art of Toko Shinoda



Links for further information and viewing of Toko Shinoda’s artworks are:


A fabulous article written by Jerry Donavan, Power and Mastery of the Blank Space – Toko Shinoda  


and wonderful short video clips, artworks at




As some of you are aware, I’ve written a 7 set art series on zen and wabi sabi.  This may be a  great time to return to them for contemplation.

creative watercolor techniques,  textures in watercolor with molding paste,
Watercolor Zen Mountain

7 Days of Zen  

Zen Unbounded 

Zen  – Bones of  Time 

Simply,  Zen   

Beautiful Findings, Zen 

Zen Oddly Even 

Zen Beauty  




Toko Shinoda,  a captivating poetic artist full of delightful surprises and strengths. Don’t miss out on the loveliness that she has created.

The 2 images shown are  just a micro tip of the iceberg. Do google Toko Shinoda to see the full scope of her breath taking art work.


There is so much to learn,

from just looking at how she applied each measured, limited, finite brush stroke!



Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

30 thoughts on “Toko Shinoda: Captivating Artist

  1. Really overwhelming and beautiful. A statement with very few lines but everything was put in a perfect composition. I love Japanese art. Thanks for introducing it to us. Kind regards from rainy Hamburg, Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really happy Mitza that you liked her work! I’d only recently discovered her, and can’t believe I’d never heard of her before….. its rainy here too. But, Perth actually needs it. Hamburg, maybe not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think, Japan has had a great and wonderful influence on our art since about 1900 and has also influenced floral designs in old jewelry which I love a lot and collect.
        They say that May had been too dry in Hamburg but also too cold. I still need the heating in the evening. I’m waiting for the sun, it’s no fun to bicycle in the rain. Cheers Mitza

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Mitza. The elegance of the Japanese influence …. is breathtaking. It doesn’t sound like fun to me riding a bike in any weather, let alone rain.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. You should stop now if you’re tired, the painting police won’t come get you, I’ve got them handcuffed at my place and I’m slowly feeding them glutened pasta *cue the evil laugh*

        Fever has come down some and I do feel a little stronger but being sick in bed isn’t helping my insomnia, can’t do much on 5 hrs sleep! Thanks for asking. I hope you have a restful weekend, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

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